Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Our people

Current members

Aniruddha Chatterjee PortraitDr Aniruddha Chatterjee  Head of Laboratory, Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Aniruddha is originally from Berhampore, West Bengal (India), where he completed his schooling. He moved to the southern part of India and completed a BSc (Osmania University, Hyderabad) and MSc degree (VIT University, Vellore) in Biotechnology with first class and distinction. Following this, Aniruddha came to the University of Otago in New Zealand in 2009, where he commenced his PhD. In his doctoral work, he mapped whole-genome scale DNA methylation patterns and variation in normal human neutrophil cells. Aniruddha played a leading role in performing the first reduced representation methylation sequencing in human neutrophils, melanoma, and the model organism zebrafish. He also heavily published in methodology development for DNA methylation and microRNA analysis. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand to establish this Epigenetics, Disease, and Phenotype Laboratory (EDP). Outside of work he enjoys dancing, acting, sports, travelling, and music.

Aniruddha welcomes enquiries about opportunities to study or work in the Chatterjee Laboratory.

Email: aniruddha.chatterjee@otago.ac.nz

Profile: Dr Aniruddha Chatterjee

@futureliesindna

^ Top of page


Dr Euan Rodger  Senior Research FellowEuan_2019_cropped

After completing his PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago, Euan moved across campus to Pathology where he remains in a joint position in the Chatterjee and Eccles laboratories. He is currently involved in projects using genomic/epigenomic methods in several different contexts, including: identification of novel candidate biomarkers and drug targets for melanoma; profiling of circulating tumour DNA to monitor disease burden in melanoma patients; DNA methylation analysis of microdissected tumour regions and isolated cell subsets; mapping the methylome of patients with haematological cancers to develop blood-based diagnostic tools and investigation of a family with a genetic predisposition to myelodysplastic syndrome. Outside the lab Euan enjoys spending time with his family, painting and listening to music.

Email: euan.rodger@otago.ac.nz

Profile: Dr Euan Rodger

@euanjrodger

^ Top of page


Dr Peter Stockwell  Scientific OfficerPeterStockwell

Peter's PhD from the Biochemistry Department was one of the earliest to concentrate on computational rather than laboratory bench work. Throughout his career he has collaborated with lab workers to resolve problems requiring computational solutions, often by programming for the computing resources of the time. Work has extended from the earliest times of DNA sequencing through to the present Next Generation Sequencing technologies. An extensive collaboration with Aniruddha led to development of DMAP (Differential Methylation Analysis Package), a set of tools which have been widely applied to other projects. Peter is presently working on Aniruddha's HRC project and Professor Mike Eccles' Marsden project.

Email: peter.stockwell@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page


Suzan Almomani  Assistant Research FellowSuzan_portrait

Suzan joined the Chatterjee and Eccles labs as an ARF in 2019. She has considerable experience in the field of epigenetics, particularly the analysis of cell-free DNA methylation.

Email: suzan.almomani@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page


Antonio Ahn PortraitAntonio Ahn  PhD candidate, co-supervision with Eccles lab

Antonio completed his Master’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science in 2014. Currently he is a PhD candidate studying cancer biology, data science, and bioinformatics. Antonio's project involves investigating the role of epigenetic regulation in a protein called PD-L1. Cancers use PD-L1 to block the immune system's attacks, which in turn allows for persistent cancer growth and metastasis. There has been remarkable treatment progress with drugs that block PD-L1 interactions to reactivate anti-tumour immunity. However, only a fraction of patients respond and thus there is a strong need to gain more understanding of how PD-L1 is regulated.

Email: antonio.ahn@otago.ac.nz

Profile: Antonio Ahn

@AntonioAhnNZ

^ Top of page


Sai Shyam  PhD studentSai_Shyam_portrait

Sai Shyam completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from St Joseph's College, Bangalore in 2008 and his Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Dr. G R Damodaran College of Science, Coimbatore in 2010. From Jan 2011–July 2011, he worked at Connexios Life Sciences where he was involved in maintenance of different animal cell lines. After this he worked at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore on the project entitled Preclinical Studies on Brain tumours: Combination of Adjuvants with Different Mechanisms of Radio-sensitization for 4 years. His interest and desire to work in cancer led him to find a PhD position in the Chatterjee lab where he is working on epigenetics of colorectal cancer. Outside of research Sai loves to listen to music and play outdoor sports, mainly football.

Email: vasai965@student.otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page


Priyadarshana Ajithkumar  PhD studentPriya_portrait

Priya completed her Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in biological science and applied statistics from the University of Auckland. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, she was awarded a Summer Research Scholarship to work in the kauri dieback research project at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. She completed a Master of Science (research) in molecular genetics with First Class Honours from the Auckland University of Technology. Her passion for cancer research, particularly in molecular genetics and bioinformatics based research inspired her to do a PhD. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in colorectal cancer epigenetics research and is working in the Chatterjee lab. In her spare time, Priya likes to play badminton and do outdoor activities.

Email: ajipr506@student.otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page


Rakesh Banerjee  PhD studentRakesh Banerjee

Rakesh completed his Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Calcutta in 2015 and his Master’s degree in Microbiology from Pondicherry University in 2017. After this, Rakesh worked as an R&D intern at Biocon Research Centre (Biocon Pharmaceuticals), Bangalore, and as a Research Associate at GROW Research Laboratory, Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore. In his Research Associate role, he was part of an interesting project dealing with ocular gene therapy. He was primarily involved in production of rAAV vectors for gene therapy of different ocular diseases. In addition to contributing towards the establishment of a vector core facility, he worked on understanding gain and loss of functions of different genes in the aspects of disease pathology. His passion and desire to work with molecular biology and epigenetics led him to commence a PhD in the Chatterjee Lab, where he is investigating the role of DNA methylation and CRISPR specific targeting mechanisms in melanoma. Outside research, Rakesh enjoys cooking, dancing, travelling and listening to music.

Email: banra389@student.otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page


Lab Alumni

Arthur Urbano  BBiomedSc(Hons)  2019

Jim Smith  BMedSc(Hons) student  2018

Anna Leichter  Assistant Research Fellow  2017-2018

James Wright  Internship, Cardiff University UK (co-supervision with Eccles lab)  2017

^ Top of page